From acne to eczema, all sorts of skin conditions can affect you both physically and mentally. Diseases and conditions that affect your skin can cause symptoms such as itching, burning, and pain, sometimes all at the same time. They can also make you feel extremely self-conscious and embarrassed, especially if they are somewhere on your body that can’t be covered by clothing.
If you’ve tried everything for your skin condition and nothing seems to help, there’s one more treatment for you to try. A cannabis topical might be precisely what you need for your skin’s health, whether you have a medical condition or just want it to be softer and healthier. The best part of a cannabis topical is you can make your own cream, lotion, or salve for a natural, non-toxic treatment for your skin.
What are cannabis topicals?
Cannabis topicals are different types of treatments that can help improve your skin’s appearance and include cannabis as one of the main ingredients. There are a variety of ways a topical can be applied to your skin including, salves, lotions, creams, oils, balms, body butter, and sprays.
Salves and balms are made with a combination of oils and wax. The most common wax often being beeswax. Balms tend to be a thicker topical due to a higher concentration of beeswax. Both salves and balms generally have a longer shelf life without added preservatives than other topical treatments do. This is due to the fact they usually don’t contain any water.
Commercial creams and lotions are generally a mixture of water, beeswax, and oils such as coconut or olive. Often made with a higher concentration of oils, creams tend to be thicker than lotions. With water as an ingredient in both, creams and lotions need preservatives or to be refrigerated to increase their shelf life
Body butter is a rich, thick topical that is made with natural butter, such as shea, cocoa, or almond. The butter can be used alone or mixed with other butter to add to the skin conditioning properties. A liquid carrier oil can be added to make the body butter easier to apply to the skin.
Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and tea tree are often added to a topical treatment for their additional therapeutic properties. Their healing qualities are in both their aroma and their physical application to the skin.
Benefits of cannabis topicals
When used in a topical substance, cannabis strains have many benefits for your skin. Compounds in cannabis have properties that can help to reduce localized pain, soreness, and inflammation due to various skin conditions. Cannabis creams or other topical solutions have also been shown to be beneficial as an anti-aging treatment, and as an antiseptic. As a topical, cannabis doesn’t give you a high like other methods of using the substance does.
Cannabis lotions, creams, or other topical substances may be effective in helping relieve symptoms of:
- Muscle Pain
- Joint pain such as from arthritis
- Insect bites
- Bee stings
- And other skin disorders and diseases
The best cannabis topical is a homemade one. You have complete control over what ingredients go into your lotions without any added preservatives or other unwanted chemicals.
How to make a basic cannabis salve
Homemade cannabis salves, lotions, and creams are easy to make, even for beginners. All you need is a few simple ingredients and supplies. Once you master the basic recipe, you can experiment with substituting carrier-oils, butter, and essential oils for different textures and aromas.
Here is a simple cannabis topical recipe. This will create more of a salve substance, but by adding more oils and less beeswax, you can easily give it more of a lotion or cream quality.
- 1 cup infused cannabis oil
- 1 Oz beeswax
- 1 Oz body butter of your choice (shea, cocoa, and avocado are great options)
- Essential oils
Ingredients you will need to make a DIY infused cannabis oil:
- 1 Oz. decarbed cannabis
- 1 cup carrier-oil of your choice (coconut, almond, and extra-virgin olive oil work well)
You will also need:
- Grinder (hand grinder, food processor, or use your fingers)
- Baking sheet
- Saucepan or double boiler
- Containers for your topical (tin or glass will work)
To decarboxylate or activate the THC in cannabis:
-Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees
-Grind your cannabis and spread out onto a baking sheet
-Place the cannabis on the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes
-Let the cannabis cool in the oven for approximately 10 minutes
To make your salve:
-Pour your choice of carrier oil(s) into the saucepan or double boiler
-Heat on low for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly
-Add decarbed cannabis to the oil
-Continue to stir on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes
-Remove the infused cannabis oil from the heat and strain through cheesecloth into the jar
-Set the jar of infused cannabis oil aside
-Add the beeswax to the same saucepan or double boiler and heat on low until melted
-Add the infused cannabis oil to the melted beeswax
-Stir thoroughly to combine the mixture
-For a lotion or cream, stir in your choice of body butter
-Add your choice of essential oils
-Gently stir to blend all the ingredients
-Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer the finished product to the containers
-Let your topical cool before you use. Label your containers with the date, so you know when they were made. For the best results, store the containers with your DIY topical in a cool, dry place.
Homemade cannabis lotions and creams are not only great to have for you, but they can also be excellent for gift-giving. Their soothing, healing qualities will make anyone appreciate the thoughtful gift. Once you master the basic recipe, you can create all sorts of new and unique topical solutions for you, your family, and friends. Use your DIY cannabis topical salves, lotions, and creams for all your skin’s health care needs.
Rebecca Akers is an enthusiastic and creative writer at THC Design. Her main goal is to spread information about growing cannabis and its health benefits.